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Agricultural Decision Support System for Soil and Water Conservation Measures

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Computers in Agriculture and Natural Resources, 4th World Congress Conference, Proceedings of the 24-26 July 2006 (Orlando, Florida USA) Publication Date 24 July 2006  701P0606.(doi:10.13031/2013.21914)
Authors:   Andreas Klik, Werner Jester, Andreas Muhar, Alfred Peinsitt, Nicola Rampazzo, Axel Mentler, Barbara Staudinger, Michael Eder, and Robert Dalmolin
Keywords:   Decision making, soil erosion, erosion control, water quality, LISEM

Soil erosion and associated nutrient translocation cause damages on the field but also off-site. Several simulation models are available to assess the amount of soil erosion and sediment yield in agricultural used areas. These models allow the calculation/evaluation of ecological and environmental impacts of erosion processes but are not able to cover also socio-economic and economic aspects. For comprehensive planning of sustainable land use of agricultural watersheds the consideration of ecological as well economical factors is imperative. Objective of this study was to develop and apply a decision support system (DSS) for sustainable agricultural land use planning with respect to following goals: 1) to conserve and improve soil quality, soil fertility and local water balance, 2) to minimize soil and nutrient translocation into surface water bodies and downstream fields, and 3) to optimize benefits for the farmers as well as for the society. The DSS consists of a soil erosion and a phosphorus transport model to cover the ecological effects, of an economical model for the monetary assessment, and of a value benefit analysis for evaluation and ranking of the compared scenarios. The results showed that under the existing agricultural and economical framework in Austria conservation tillage systems are favorable soil protection systems. All other compared treatments did not fulfill the required economical and ecological targets. The developed DSS has a great potential to be used by public administration and authorities for decision making in sustainable land use planning.

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